by Rick Warren — June 12, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:17 (NIV)
God promises thousands of times in the Bible that he will act on our behalf if we obey him. When I read those promises, it gives me confidence. I know that if I do what God asks of me, he has promised a certain result.
For most of the year 1981, I was depressed. The year before, I had moved to Southern California to start Saddleback Church. I was exhausted emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I felt like I had a cloud over my head that I just couldn’t escape.
I’ll never forget some of the verses that really activated my faith: “But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land” (Exodus 23:29-30 NIV).
In Exodus 23:29-30, God essentially says to the Israelites, “You know these enemies? They’re bigger than you. But I’m not going to give you the whole land in the first year. You’re going to take it over a little bit at a time—one battle at a time. You’re growing stronger. And when you’re strong enough to handle it all, you’ll get it all.”
When I read those verses, it was like a promise coming directly to me. I realized I didn’t have to accomplish it all in the first year. I was going to spend the rest of my life serving Jesus Christ, and I could do it on his timetable and at his pace.
That understanding gave me confidence to take on enormous goals. The Word activated my faith. God’s Word can activate your faith too.
Most of us aren’t confident or courageous. In fact, we’re often scared to death! We’re afraid to take risks, afraid of failure, and afraid of dying. But people of faith should walk confidently through life.
Do you want to be a person of faith? Faith is God’s Word activated. The Bible says in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (NIV).
God’s Word not only tells you what to do. It also gives you the power to do it and increases your faith as you do it.